Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Yesikita Coppola machinima of Paranormal Frottage


A Yesikita Coppola Machinima of Misprint Thursday's 'Paranormal Frottage', which is entered to the December round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge.

This is a personal dedication by Yesikita created for personal reasons. She was worried if I put it up on the blog too early, it might have swayed later decisions, but as with all the articles by guests etc., I feel that these types of spontaneous dedications should be shared as they are created !


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The people and the passion: Sayumi reflects on the community of individuals brought together by the UWA 3D Art Challenge

I note two things with interest and excitement on our blog today. Firstly, the wonderful excerpt from the interview with Laurina Hawks (previous post to this one) concerning her recent win in one of the UWA art competitions. Laurina's humility as she saw others winning lesser (but of course still highly commendable!) prizes , not anticipating that she could possibly win 'the big one', illustrates what I have found in speaking to so many of the art community I have been privileged to meet - here we have individuals with talent abounding, who could be expected to be proud and aggressive in their pursuit of victory, but who instead are real, vibrant human beings with fully rounded personalities and amazingly gentle manners in dealing with others. The artists are often as beautiful as their art. I mean that in more than one way - their character and humanity is inspiring; and their creation of themselves as virtual world beings in the physical sense is as breathtaking as their works themselves.

Secondly, I note that we have a new contributor to the UWA in SL blog, Ms Rowan Derryth. I hope that I am not pre-empting an official announcement by Jayjay Zifanwe, but a quick glance at Ms Derryth's own blog will indicate that we are in for a treat on the occasions she is able to contribute here. Not only the artists, but those who manage the art world in SL and who enable UWA's competitions to flourish and grow with a wide range of contributions, all make for as rich and enriching an art experience as one will find anywhere. As a tiny and wholly unqualified contributor to this blog, may I add my personal welcome to Ms Rowan Derryth - a welcome entirely personal and without any official standing, I hasten to add!

So I continue to be excited about my university's role in the SL arts world, not only for the art's sake but also in seeing the best in people as everyone works hard at their role. I look forward immensely to the judging and announcements of results again early in January. I hope to contribute here at least once more before that time, but may I also offer my own best wishes to all our readers for the coming New Year season!

Moments of Magic - What Makes it All Worthwhile


I saw this quote in a Laurina Hawks (pictured above) interview written by Glasz DeCuir. Its what makes everything worthwhile. The ability to be some part of the creation of moments like this!

"When the grand finale began I came with no expectations… but hearing all my collegues earning all those prizes and myself not a single one, was a bit disappointing. I never counted with the highest prize…lol. Then at last my name came up “and the winner is…Laurina Hawks”. Wheee! This felt like Hollywood and getting the Oscar. My partner cried loud behind me and my eyes were blinded with tears when I stood up for the ovation. Surely one of the most exciting moments of my life…."

(speaking of the announcement of her winning MachinimUWA II: Art of the Artists)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Keeping it Real in the PCA

The People's Choice (PC) Award voting is now open. There is a new voting system, so I encourage you to read this information. The new system allows you to vote for as many pieces as you like, rating them on a scale of 1 to 3. You vote by touching the name board at each entry. Last day of voting for the December round is Friday, Jan 7.

The PC awards are intended to foster community engagement in the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge. By encouraging everyone to come and express an opinion about the works, we hope they will really look at the art and think about it and assess how they feel about it. I sponsored the PC awards last year on behalf of my residents at Artemisia because I believe strongly in engaging the public in our work in a direct and meaningful way.

Now, as curator, it has come to my attention that the process is subject to undue influence by the behavior of certain artists and their supporters. Perhaps we have not made it clear that this is not intended to be popularity contest for artists. We don't total the votes for the artist. We vote for the works. What does it mean if you vote for a work when you haven't looked at all the possibilities? If you don't actually use some aesthetic judgment? Anyone attempting to influence the voting by campaigning or other means erodes the value of those votes. If you were to win an award by padding the voting, isn't it a pretty hollow victory? If we were to allow this, the awards would be meaningless.

quad and JayJay were vigilant in assuring correct results over the last year and I am attempting to do the same. What may not be apparent to most people is that we are able to monitor the voting quite well. We can see very clearly when someone is trying to manipulate the system. I have every reason to believe that all the final winners of all previous rounds were absolutely legitimate and deserving.

With huge thanks to GeeJAnn Blackadder, we are trying out a new voting system for the People's Choice Awards. Instead of the familiar voting board with pictures of the objects, you will now be able to vote by touching the artist's name sign at each object in the gallery. You can vote for as many objects as you want, using a 1 to 3 scale. We hope this will encourage even more community engagement and provide an easier way to manage the vote tallies.

As always, we will continue to monitor the voting process to limit campaigning and manipulation. There are a few known glitches in the new system that do not affect the voting (e.g. the notecard issue), and we will be refining it for future rounds. Please let me know if you have any problems with voting.

The People's Choice Awards are an important part of our outreach efforts. I urge you to come look at the entries, to think about them, and to participate in the voting by expressing your thoughtful opinions. If someone asks you to vote for them, please politely let them know that you will be happy to come vote for your favorite works.

FreeWee Ling, Curator
UWA 3D Open Art Challenge

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Addendum to a comment: Anley Piers' "Human Energy" revisited

I was honoured and gratified following my most recent posting, which included comment about Anley Piers' piece Human Energy, to receive a little enlightenment from the artist, directing me to the amazing sim Mysterious Wave where the whole original piece is exhibited. She cryptically commented that I had correctly identified Human Energy as a piece twinned with another work, and I had assumed that she was confirming my identification of her other piece in this month's competition, Travel in the shadow of technology, as the twin of Human Energy. However, I dutifully booked my taxi to Mysterious Wave, wanting to see the work in its original context - and was astounded to find that Human Energy as displayed at UWA is indeed one of a pair of twins - but the twin is a complementary version of Human Energy!

What one finds displayed at Mysterious Wave, then, are two complementary pieces forming the whole work, arranged almost like bookends in a surprisingly stark and foreboding landscape. The complementary piece displayed only at Mysterious Wave takes the form of a yin to the yang of the one displayed at UWA. Both take the form of an incandescent light globe represented as the head of a humanoid figure composed otherwise of technical piping components. While at UWA the globe is burning, but is not connected to the power source, the complementary piece depicts a globe very much connected to the electrical grid, and yet the globe is darkened and shattered.

Anley Piers Human Energy (the other half)
(detail from the original piece in situ at Mysterious Wave)

The message of the piece becomes now even more mysterious. It is clear that connection to the wider power grid is in fact counterproductive for Piers' 'human globes'; they only operate as intended when disconnected from a wider scheme of things, giving off light and energy independently, acting unilaterally as their own inspiration. When connected to a wider network, when operating as 'intended' or 'designed', they will shatter and fail.

I circle the work, pondering, mystified, lifting the hem of my kimono to avoid the soiling of the mud, my geta sandals sticking and impeding my progress, but I am determined to penetrate this work with my mind and my soul. The globes seem to be metaphors for people, and for people who are intended to shine forth in a dark and dismal place. Yet they are people who operate against the norm, against expectations, who shine independently, and who cannot shine when conforming to a standard pattern. The mist starts to lift as the sun begins to rise, and the mist of my mind and understanding perhaps begins to clear as well. Could these globes represent the artists of this entrancing and unusual gallery, this place which by its very name declares itself a place of mystery? I sense that such as Anley Piers and her colleagues Cherry Manga and Elfe Imako would not conform to any norm, that they would be stifled and indeed shattered and extinguished by energy sources common to people of the mainstream. They must act freely and independently, and only then can they shine out their creative glow, incandescent in the darkness that populates so much of any world, second, first or many-teenth.

Have I understood this work? I am not confident. But it has spoken to my heart, it has intrigued me, and caused me to wrestle within myself. I think the artist has achieved her purpose, and may not be too displeased with my contemplations of her efforts.

I only wish I had time to wrestle with each of the works displayed at UWA this month. Christmas is here and gone with all the social whirl this time involves. I have some scribblings in my notebook for a few more works, and some photos burning space on my hard disk, and the closing date for entries approaches fast. And life calls me in another world, where I also belong and love and hope and dream. I know, though, that my university's platform awaits when I can return, and that samples from endless galleries will enthrall me again. Life is so full, in this world and the other, how can I enjoy it all? And people tell me there are other worlds yet unvisited or unimagined by me... I shake my head and close my laptop sadly, knowing there is so much I will never see.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bohemian Ghost & Summerland raise L$63,000 for Art Challenge


Photo curtesy of Faery Sola

Once again the amazing Bohemian Ghost, owner of the Summerland Estates has topped his previous fund raising heroics, this time going well past the L$60,000 target with the number still rising at time of writing as part of an auction for a magnificent Snow Glow Gala thrown to raise prizes for the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge. (Final figure was L$63,000)

The perfect pairing of Tatiana Faulkes and Barely Texan pulled in a jaw dropping L$10,000.

Commenting on this, Barely said, "I'm certainly proud to have received the high bid in the auction. Thank you to Tatianna Faulkes, who bid one me, and Bohemian Ghost and Byrnedarkly Cazelet who made all this possible. I'm excited to have helped an excellent cause like UWA!"

Rounding off the festivities, Bohemian Ghost gave "...special thanks to Tatianna Faulkes and her store fab.pony for the huge donation and all the bidders and dj's that helped with fundraising, including Ices Zapatero, Selexa Soulstar, Paradox Messmer and our live Performer Phemie Alcott and a huge thank you to Frostie Melody, Barely Texan and Am Trill for helping with everything"


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Getting personal: Sayumi's first reflections on some December entries

It has been a while since I have written here. My work in that other world we sometimes must visit has kept me extremely busy lately, but the knowledge that the wonderful world of SL art awaits me has inspired me and freshened my morale when the going has been tough. I am a little afraid that 2011 will see me dragged further away from SL by the demands of my other-world career, but that remains to be seen. For the time being I can enjoy all that SL has to offer, and it offers much! While in this UWA blog I will confine my comments to works associated with the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge, I am starting to become aware of the vast range of galleries and collections of artworks in SL, and hope to sometimes reflect on visits to these in my own blog.
I am also right now just a little struggling to keep it all together between RL and SL and keep my head in the right place, and so I'm a little afraid that my slightly scatty state of mind isn't allowing me to reflect or to write quite as effectively as I would like. If some of this seems a little inane (not, there's NOT an 's' missing in that word! hee hee!) please forgive me.

This time I will simply offer some reflections on a few of the pieces already entered in the December round of the UWA Challenge. I have enjoyed touring the platform this week, sometimes running into friends and making new ones, but I will admit that some of the pieces have been quite personally confronting - not in a bad way, but making me realize that it is sometimes going to be difficult to comment honestly on a piece without making myself a little more vulnerable in the process. This is not necessarily a bad thing - the artists make themselves vulnerable in every work, of course. So... it will be interesting!

I began at one side of the platform the other morning, and the four pieces I will comment on this time are all displayed in one row at that point. The first piece was Spirit Radikal's 'Owned'. This piece was especially confronting for me, given a past which has included time in the world of D/s (Dominance & submission) together with, as part of that, some exposure to Japanese 'tentacle sex' as portrayed in some anime and manga works. Having encountered some of that in SL's darker corners, it was quite surprising to come across, in the very first December work I randomly approached, what seems to be a quite clear expression of submission in the form of a very dominating, tentacle-wielding being. Standing beneath the slowly turning tentacles, for I can give them no other name, I found old emotions returning, emotions which I had thought suppressed and controlled. I knew quite quickly that these tentacles were innocuous, that their threat was to my imagination only, and a viewer who has not experienced submission to SL's weirder flora will likely not identify with my reading of this piece at all. But the piece is called 'Owned'... and I have been, though I am no longer and will not be. Therein is the lesson that we bring to each piece we view, not only our intellectual or aesthetic appreciation of the work, but also our own past and our own deeper tendencies. I have to admit, just now I can write no more about this piece, even though I feel that I have not covered it adequately.

Spirit Radikal Owned

I moved on from that first encounter to a form which I instantly recognized as being the work of Kyra Roxan, whose 'Urban Girls' I had so admired last month. The familiar curves of her sensuous execution of the female form in a dark polished granite-like texture leapt at me with a cry to the naughty elements of my heart, and I was somewhat incredulous to have this occur with the second piece I was viewing also. I pushed these thoughts aside in the interests of a more dispassionate approach to the work. However, objectivity proved impossible with this piece too. Two nude female figures are entwined on one another inside a cocoon of flimsy gossamer curtains blowing in the constant gentle breeze; the curtains hang from a small shrine of decidedly Greek appearance... ancient, perhaps Archaic, Greek, as of some Aegean island in the era of Hesiod and more particularly Sappho, and one can imagine that at times these drapes are swept by the tempests which earlier battered Odysseus on his quests. Then, as the viewer moves inside the curtains, intruding on the quiet intimacy of the two dark friends, one is suddenly confronted inescapably by the realization that these women are no simple friends, but lovers. The right hand of each thrusts unashamedly between the thighs of her companion, and one starts to feel that the sound on the breeze is more than mere rustling drapes but includes the low moans and whimpers of these passionate girls. At that moment, one particular Aegean isle leaps into one's consciousness, the isle of Lesbos, and the viewer wonders if maybe one of the women may not be a Sappho herself, at least Sappho as imagined since Victorian times. Why is the work called 'ILS'? After some touring of internet disambiguation pages, I will offer 'International Lesbian Solidarity', but I am probably wide of the mark. Again, I have to shake myself free from this piece and move on quickly, unable to remain in its spell for longer if I am to treat it as an artwork and not be entranced by its siren call.

Kyra Roxan ILS

I promise the reader that, in this piece at least, there will be no more sensual revelations, but that does not mean that the other works did not also appeal to me deeply. The other two that I will comment on today are those by Anley Piers, separate works but linked thematically by their treatment of humankind, technology and progress in the built and natural environments. Well, that's a summation of my reading of these twin pieces. Both pieces are 'powered', both in the literal and the artistic sense, by electricity, which has avowedly been the driving force of a technological society since the late 19th century. The first and smaller of the works, 'Human Energy', is at first glance a simple piece - an incandescent light globe forms the head of a humanoid figure which is about to connect itself to a power socket which my research shows me to be of a French-style 'Type E' design. It does not immediately strike the viewer, perhaps, that the light globe is glowing despite not yet being connected to the power source; but I am sure that this is the key to Piers's point, in that the humanoid figure contains its own power source independent of any man-made grid. I am sure there is something deeper here, but it as yet escapes me; the components of the limbs are of a piping which I know I have seen in some context, but that, too, will need to be teased out by another commentator. I move on dissatisfied with my own penetration of this work, wondering if its twin piece will yield further clues.

Anley Piers Human Energy

'Travel in the shadow of technology' is a much more complex piece, bringing together built and natural elements, and some which are ambiguous, inside a black ovoid which serves as a backdrop to highlight the mainly white components of the work. Here we have, again, light globes, together with a fan and also a computer USB cable, combined with plants, a bird and a low ground-hugging fog as natural elements. The light globes, as in the first work, are atop elements which are natural in origin - in this case, lively plant stems, which I admit I impulsively thought of immediately in terms of the story of 'Jack and the Bean Stalk', though I could take this metaphor no further. Three umbrellas, apparently of an antique design, mysteriously circulate within the scene; and climactically the astute viewer notes, despite an explicit invitation, that s/he is intended to become part of the work by 'posing' and then circulating among the elements - ideally, bring a friend to view this work, and participate together! One senses that the 'travel' suggested by the title is not only through space, as the movement implies, but also through time... progress from 19th century to 21st century technology is represented here. The work may have a warning message, I admit to being unsure... but participating in it for a short time does have a calming effect, and one may exit reassured that, despite all that we hear about the dangers and environmental damage caused by modern technology, there may yet exist a harmony and 'peaceful co-existence', to draw on a Cold War phrase, between humankind, technology and the natural world. I interpret it as a positive and optimistic work, despite the lack of vibrant colouring, and yet in offering this interpretation I am desperately afraid that I have missed the point and the artist intended something quite different.

Anley Piers Travel in the shadow of technology

So I end my tour of this small corner of December a little less sure of myself, having been confronted and puzzled, soothed and challenged, but looking forward intently to seeing more and thinking more on this month's growing volume of offerings. Yesikita's Coppola's wonderful machinima of the November winners reveals to all of us the beauty of the range of works we are being privileged to enjoy each month, and December looks set to continue our pleasures.

[I took multiple photos of two of the works discussed here, and the full set of photos for December where more than one photo was taken is in this album on Picasa]

Spontaneous Machinima at UWA 3D Art Platform: Forbidden Fruit

We'll let Fuschia Nightfire's words describe how these TWO Machinima came to be:

"Don't ya just love it when this happens?

I was sent a teleport request by Anje Aichi asking if I could come and discuss an invitation design for a friend of hers. When I arrived at the destination it turned out to be at UWA and there was Anje standing just outside my December entry 'Forbidden Fruit' with NicoleX Moonwall and Bellavista Eisman. We started to discuss the invitation, when Saveme Oh showed up and that is when things got a little crazy, as tends to happen when Saveme is around.

There is very little editing done on this video, most of the effects were made inworld by Saveme and the other artists inside my installation, and the overlapping alpha layers added to this.

Thanks to Saveme Oh, NicoleX Moonwall, Anje Aichi, Bellavista Eisman and Jayjay Zifanwe"



photos of the same event by Anje Aichi (CLICK HERE)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yesikita Copolla's Machinima of the November Winners of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge


A wonderful machinima by Yesikita Coppola of the winners of the November Round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge:

FLY WITH THE WIND Josina Burgess
LAZER BALLS Betty Tureaud
LOSS Gingered Alsop
ALL SINNERS HAVE A PAST Theoretical Afterthought
TALK TO US Wolk Writer
COLD, DESOLATE & ALONE Nebulosus Severine
DOLL FACE Cherry Manga

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Look UWA 3D Open Poster by RAG Randt

With Nordan Art under the helm of Flora Nordenskiold & Apmel Goosson joining the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge as one of the partner groups/ associations alongside UTSA, BOSL, SL ART, Odyssey, CARP, Pirats and Show & Tell @ Avaria, a new poster was needed for the entry receiver and the info givers!

Up stepped RAG Randt to the plate, with his photoshop wizardry! Thank you RAG Randt, for the new look!

Describing the effort, RAG commented, "I was lucky enough to be inworld when the call came asking if anyone could create a new UWA poster. I volunteered and asked what it was about. The requirement was to put all the sponsors names and the UWA logo with the tag: A Grand Collaboration. That tag gave me my concept for the poster. I designed a layout that would hopefully convey the concept of artists and sponsors, mesh and scripting, all working together to create work that makes up the creative world of Second LIfe."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Battle of the Blogs


soror Nishi attacks Jayjay ?

No, just a Faery Sola creation, one of 40++ works submitted thus far to the December round of the UWA 3D Art & Design Challenge.

To see all the entries, or to submit an artwork for the December round, click here


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lyn DiCiero - Editor of the Artist's Chronicle Joins Judging Panel


Lyn DiCiero, the influential Editor of the West Austrlian art journal, the Artist's Chronicle has agreed to join the UWA judging panel for the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge.

Click here for website

"Having seen virtual space for the first time I'm excited about its potential application in education and the opportunities for artists to expand and grow a new artform. I look forward to seeing more."

One of the works which attracted Lyn's attention to virtual art, was Nish Mip's Grand Finale winning 'Umbrellas' piece featured in the December issue of the Best of Second Life Magazine (page 122)

Full UWA Judging Panel
1. Professor Ted Snell - Director, Cultural Precinct, The University of Western Australia (RL)& Chairman of Visual Arts for the Australia Council
2. John Barret-Lennard - Curator of the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, UWA
3. Len Zuks - Award Winning West Australian Sculpturist
4. Laetitia Wilson - Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts, UWA
5. Lyn DiCiero - Editor, WA Artist's Chronicle
6. Jay Jay Jegathesan / Zifanwe - Owner of The UWA SL presence; Creator & Host of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge; Manager School of Physics, UWA
7. Raphaella Nightfire (SL) - Snr Writer Best of SL Magazine, Owner Sanctorum Gallery
8. FreeWee Ling (SL) - Curator, UWA 3D Open Art Challenge

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bohemian Ghost Fundaising for the Challenge - Snow Glow Gala

Once more the tireless Bohemian Ghost is hosting a fundraising Gala, with many wonderful individuals stepping forward to give of themselves in this effort by the owner of the Summerland Estates to raise prize funds for the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge!

Ices Zapatero, very first DJ to spin tunes on the UWA sims (2nd Oct 2009), now along with many others pictured helping to raise prize funds through the Snow Glow Gala

In the Bohemian's words:

The "SNOW GLOW GALA" for UWA Arts in SL on Monday, December 20th from 4pm-8pm SLT! There will be 3 DJ's and a live musical artist!) as well as a Snow Bunny Kissing Booth and lots of other fun things to do!

The Theme is "SNOW GLOW" So wear your best wintery avant garde attire.

The date auction will will actually be held BEFORE the event and the'winner' of each auctionee will actually attend the event with that person!


For location of the fundraising boards and more information click here

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Appreciation of the top four November winners, by guest blogger Sayumi Tsunenaga

May I offer my own humble congratulations to all of this month’s winners of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge. It was a privilege to be present on Sunday when the results were announced, and it was certainly a revelation to me of the range of individuals and organizations involved, not only as artists but as sponsors of the prizes and participants on judging panels. That my university has attracted such attention and been able to invoke such interest in the art world is extremely gratifying.

As the winners were announced on Sunday, I realized that I had not chosen many of the winners to write about, and in fact none of the top four prize winners were among those of which I gave my appreciation. This is to take nothing from those works I did write about – I admire them all intensely – but I felt it was important for me to take another look at the winning four works, at least, and as a result I will give a short appreciation of each of those pieces.

In preparation, this evening I roamed the platform photographing the pieces for myself – I am coming to enjoy that process as I try to capture the best angle and lighting, though I don’t claim that I achieve the best possible result. What I did discover, though, is that the top four winners this month were all extremely challenging to photograph effectively, because of motion of various kinds which is intrinsic to the work in each case. I shall comment on this as part of each appreciation. I am also finding at the moment that sunset seems to be a good time to photograph these pieces, though that might be simply because I am quite unskilled in the use of software to manipulate lighting effects of still images; and so my photographs are at this stage presented unretouched, as taken.

So, turning now to the four works in question:

1st Prize: FLY WITH THE WIND by Josina Burgess

This piece is so ethereal and insubstantial (materially, not conceptually) that it is extremely difficult to apprehend intellectually, to identify in regard to form and space. It is clouds, it is feathers, it is the moon, it is tree limbs in a ghostly forest… it is there, you reach out to grasp it, and it is gone, fleeing from all your senses as it whirls and cycles and pulsates with living energy. You cower back a little as a smoky tendril curls towards you, and then a flow of cumulus overwhelms you momentarily and when it clears you are almost alone, a hazy moon shimmering at an indeterminate distance. This piece is sheer visual poetry.

Josina Burgess Fly With the Wind

2nd Prize: FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE by Miso Susanowa

This work I recall being quite confused by, on the first occasion on which I approached it. I did not take it for one of the pieces at all, but as some piece of signposting – but then, the signage disappeared as I approached, to reveal a simple abstract metal sculpture within the guard ropes. I have chosen to photograph this work with the signage in invisible mode, the polished metal surfaces of the comparatively conventional sculpture glinting in the evening glow. But of course, it is the signage which makes the artist’s statement most clearly, as this piece is in fact a commentary on the very experience of viewing art in a gallery context. The velvet guard ropes stand in protection of the piece from the marauding hands of the viewer, and the signage speaks of many aspects of the traditional gallery visit. Prohibitions of many kinds adorn one face, while another lists a range of artistic forms and personalities, while at the corners are listed various groups and phenomena which are often associated with the art gallery experience in cliché, from ‘grandma’ and ‘homosexuals’ to ‘Beatniks’ and the mysterious ‘cubicles’. Clearly ‘art’ is for minorities who will talk softly, obey the rules and enjoy what they are ‘supposed’ to enjoy. This work is both subtlely caustic and whimsical, but many a gallery manager would do well to consider the degree to which the artist intends their work to be ‘protected’ from the viewer.

Miso Susanowa For Your Viewing Pleasure

3rd Prize: Joint: LAZER BALLS by Betty Tureaud

One approaches this work, having seen a photograph previously, wondering where it has gone. Then one sees the invitation to step upon it – the curator of Miso’s imaginary gallery would coil back in horror! Emboldened, though, by the participatory nature of so much of what is on display at UWA in SL, you advance upon the platform, and the work suddenly springs to life. Standing close to the work, the first impression is as of a simple laser light show in a club or concert venue. But when one steps back to evaluate the scale of the work, two things take place. Firstly, you are awed by the whirling circles of laser balls, moving so fast and in such quantity that they blend to form continual bands of intense green light. And then you are stunned as the work starts to disintegrate before your eyes, the balls falling from their cycle and the whole piece disintegrating in a matter of seconds. Not only is this a participatory piece, but participation is compulsory. You will not step on her work? Then the artist will not let you see it. In a sense, this piece stands as a corollary to our 2nd prize winner, mocking the concept of art as something to be viewed from a distance. I have only begun to become familiar with Betty’s work, but what I have seen suggests that the involvement of the viewer is key to her intent.

Betty Tureaud Lazer Balls

3rd Prize: Joint: THE GLOWING SERPENT by Ginger Alsop

It seems that in new releases of SL viewers we should become accustomed to ‘Ginger’ no longer being ‘red’, and so I have termed her here without the end portion of her name. I hope she doesn’t mind! Her ‘Glowing Serpent’ was challenging to photograph in that the main impact of the work, the serpent itself, continually circulates a central pillar of light, making if very difficult to pin down. In the end, the best approach was to position the camera at a point of view into which the serpent would move after some seconds had passed. Like most of the winning four works (Miso’s being the exception) this one changes form and perspective continually, confusing the brain as to which part is near to the viewer and which part is diminishing into the distance. You have no clear idea as to whether the coloured cubes are all the same size, or whether the size of the cubes is even constant. Sometimes you are not even sure that the components remain cubes at all times. I would want to stand and watch this work for a considerable time before I could be sure what I was seeing. In some theologies, the serpent is an agent of deception, and this work is no less serpentine for that. One’s vision is continually challenged and deceived, yet one is also entranced by the endless whirling cycle of colour, the serpent cobra-like in its hypnotic impact.

Ginger Alsop The Glowing Serpent

I would love to have written an appreciation of more pieces, but this is an extremely busy time for me in the ‘other world’ and in fact I will be largely missing from SL for a few days, until Saturday, popping in only quite briefly, and perhaps working a little on my own blog. I want to thank people who have made positive comments about what I have written so far, and continually invite constructive criticism. Thankyou also to those artists who have spoken to me personally or invited friendship – I am humbled and honoured. The week started with an unexpected blow to my pride, and I have been encouraged by the kindness of so many. Thankyou again to Jayjay and FreeWee for allowing me space for these musings.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cherry Manga takes newly established Nordan Art Prize @ UWA


One day following the first winners announcements of the grand collaboration that is the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge, the collaboration expands, as the Nordan Art Group joins the fold with the establishment of the Nordan Art Prize, making this the 8th Art House/Group that is part of this collaboration, alongside UTSA, Pirats, Show & Tell @ Avaria, Odyssey, SL Art, BOSL & CARP.

The Nordan Art Prize panel is led by Flora Nordenskiold & Apmel Goosson.

The very first winner of the of the Nordan Art Prize (L$5,000), was declared immediately, and we are happy to announce that the winner is Cherry Manga's 'Doll Face'.

Describing the selection, Flora said, "Cherry Manga's work, depicts an open music box with a white painted face on a spine (with spinal cords) sticking out. A sweet, familar tune plays upon touch. Cherry's attention to detail and her use of exquisite texture makes this work stand out. There is also something both mysterious and playful about "Doll Face," which had me so fascinated that I came back and pressed the play button again. With this work, Cherry succeeds in capturing both the innocent and the mundane, leaving the viewer with an impression of something surreal. Viewing 'Doll Face' I found myself engaged on a deeper level."


Sunday, December 5, 2010


Scroll down for Full List of Winners and Photos

Josina Burgess & Miso Susanowa, strong supporters of UWA events past, have finally broken through to claim the top two spots in the first round of the new UWA 3D Open Art Challenge! Josina's work, 'Fly With the Wind' which mesmerised the judging panel, took the L$10,000 first prize, in a very very close decision over Miso's belly splitting work, 'For your Viewing Pleasure', which is frighteningly accurate of some in the art scene! To quote fellow artist Thoth Jantzen in admiring Miso's work, "I'd never seen sarcasm and cynicism in sculpted form before". Miso, who has won numerous Honourable Mention prizes in the first year of the competition, had never previously finished in the top three, which comes with automatic qualification to the Grand Finale Round.

Commenting on the win, Josina said, "I am totally surprised and really really very honoured and happy for this recoqnition of my work, it makes me feel very proud and its another push for me to continue working on sl and experiment with all the knowledge and what I learned. I also thank Velazquez Bonetto who was and is my mentor and took me along in the world of science that is oh so important to ART in SEcond Life. Thank you very very much! "

Another veteran of the UWA Challenges, Betty Tureaud as well broke through in claiming joint 3rd prize with 'Lazer Balls' in a dead heat with Gingered Alsop's 'Glowing Serpent', whose other entry 'Loss' won another joint award, taking the Best Non-Scripted Entry in a tie with soror Nishi's 'Copper Beech'.

"I'm speechless ... that both submissions were recognized ... I do not know what to say ... this is only the beginning of the ideas I have for this year :) Quite an honour to be recognized along with so many accomplished artists and works of art :)"

Betty was also a double winner as she took the Show & Tell @ Avaria Prize.

New to UWA, Typote Beck's thoughtful work 'Dream of the Cold Sleeper' won both the BOSL Prize and the SL Art Prize to also book a direct spot in the Grand Finale Round, as more than one Group selected this piece as their top choice.

"I am very glad to have these prizes. The SL Art prize and the BOSL prize are a good encouragment for me to create other pieces inspired by Pop Art and popular arts. I am glad to participate to in this very open challenge where anyone can propose their own vision of art."

71 entries were received for the first round of this new Challenge which represents a grand collaboration between major art houses and groups in Second Life. These include The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) led by Dr Carmen Fies, SL Art, led by Gleman Jun & Sunset Quinnel, CARP led by Josina Burgess & Velazquez Bonetto, Pirats Art Network led by Merlina Rokocoko & Newbab Zsigmond, Odyssey led by Fau Ferdinand & Lizsolo Mathilde, Show & Tell @ Avaria led by Florenze Kerensky & Barney Boomslang, BOSL led by Frolic Mills & Giela Delpaso & UWA with Professor Ted Snell, Chair of the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council as Chair of the UWA judging panel.

The first month of this year long L$1,000,000 challenge, saw an expansion of the countries represented in the various UWA events, spanning 6 of the 7 continents of the world. Artists, Builders & Machinimatographers from across the globe are represented including Russia, Venezuela, Belgium, Mexico, Wales, Canada, the USA, the UK, Uruguay, Scotland,England, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, France, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Cuba, Serbia, Tunisia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

A closely fought People's choice vote saw the top 10 pieces finish within 4 votes of each other, with FLAGSHIP maestro, Nyx Breen's 'Romance' winning out over Tani Thor's homage to Aloisio Congrejo (which also won the UTSA Prize). The works of Anley Piers, Cherry Manga, SaveMe Oh, Aloisio Congrejo, Kyra Roxan, Theo Republic and Theoretical Afterthought were all in the reckoning until the final minutes.

Other winners include 'All Sinners Have a Past', by Theoretical Afterthought (Odyssey Prize), 'The Crows Electro', by Anley Piers (Pirats Prize), 'Talk to Us', by Wolk Writer (CARP Prize), and 'Cold, Desolate & Alone' by Nebulosus Severine (Curator's Choice Prize).

FreeWee Ling, in describing the establishment of the Curator's Choice Award explained, "As the curator of the UWA challenge I live and work with all of these works in a very intimate way over a period of time that is qualitatively different from the casual gallery visitor. The Curator's Choice award is not necessarily what I consider to be the best piece in the competition. Rather it is a piece or an artist that is not a prize winner, but that I think deserves a deeper look. "

Yesikita Coppola, the new official machinimatographer of the challenge was excited by the choices, and was confident a wonder work could be weaved with them (stay tuned ... for a machinima of the winners).

Artists are encouraged to start submitting works for the December round, and machinimatographers, please do consider any of the artworks as early possible subject matter for MachinimUWA IV: The 2nd Art of the Artists!


1st Prize: ($L10,000)
FLY WITH THE WIND by Josina Burgess
2nd Prize: (L$7,500)
3rd Prize: (L$5,000) - Joint (L$2,500 each)
LAZER BALLS by Betty Tureaud
Best Non-Scripted Entry: (L$5,000) - Joint (L$2,500 each)
THE COPPER BEECH by soror Nishi
LOSS by Gingered Alsop

UTSA Prize: (L$5,000)
SL Art Prize: (L$5,000)
Odyssey Prize: (L$5,000)
ALL SINNERS HAVE A PAST by Theoretical Afterthought
Pirats Prize: (L$5,000)
Show & Tell @ Avaia Prize: (L$5,000)
LAZER BALLS by Betty Tureaud
CARP Prize: (L$5,000)
TALK TO US by Wolk Writer
BOSL Prize: (L$5,000)
People's Choice Award - First Place: (L$2,500)
ROMANCE by Nyx Breen
People's Choice Award - Second Place: (L$1,000)
Curator's Choice Award (L$2,500):
COLD, DESOLATE & ALONE by Nebulosus Severine

Nebulosus does complex work that is disturbing and dark. While Gothic subjects tend to be sensational and unappealing to me -- blood and gore for its own sake-- I find myself really engaged by the quality of both her imaginative vision and her renderings in virtual space that combine elements of her real and virtual work. This piece is an imaginative and courageous emotional statement. Nebulosus is an intelligent and deeply thoughtful artist.
More photos of the November round

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Personal Appreciation of the November Round by Guest Blogger Sayumi Tsunenaga

I am not an artist.
I have no identifiable skills in that area, despite my tag in the SL UWA 3D Art Challenge group reading ‘3D Artist’. It’s the tag everyone gets – I really must ask Jayjay to fix that, because I’d be a charlatan to wear that tag!

I am not an art critic. I don’t own any significant artwork except in reproduction. I have never studied art in any form. But I do know what I enjoy, and I readily admire what others produce. And so anything I write here must be read only as a personal perspective, and your perspective may be very different. If you respond to the works in the Challenge differently, if you would have chosen different pieces to write about, that is exactly as it should be.

There are many in SL who are certainly not charlatans in regard to artistic skills and creativity. Some of them also claim not to be true artists, but I think that opens the question of what is an artist anyway, because whatever label some of them refuse to wear, every single entrant in this month’s round has created art. Wonderful, vibrant art, pulsating with life, colour, imagery and emotion. Let me take you on a tour of some of my favourite pieces – though to be honest, I could have chosen many others almost as easily, and there was nothing displayed that I could not imagine anyone appreciating.

In the photos below I have usually included myself in the image. (To view full-size photo, right-click and open in new browser tab, then enlarge to full-size). This is only to give a sense of scale to the work, because many are massive and some also invite the viewer to participate in the work by entering it or engaging with it personally. And so I have tried to reflect that in my photos, and I am gratified to note that FreeWee Ling has done the same in some of the photos of her complete catalogue of the November Round.

I begin with a couple of pieces that speak to me of my homeland, Australia. One was intentional, that being Jesse Keyes’ Windmill. This is perhaps the most representational of all the works displayed, and is iconically Australian almost to the point of cliché. That is not intended as a criticism though. To stand beneath the windmill, gazing into the placid water of the tank, the sun setting behind as depicted in my photo, is to feel the Outback as many of us Australians so rarely are able in our city-bound existence. This work evokes the soul of Australia, and at this particular moment it is especially poignant for us in Western Australia where we are in the midst of the most extensive drought in historical times. Jesse Keyes has captured and brought to life Australia’s biggest contemporary challenge, the provision of water to our people.

Jesse Keyes Windmill

The other work that speaks to me of Australia, though I don’t think its non-Australian creator necessarily intended that, is soror Nishi’s The Copper Beech. I have met soror just once, and at the time did not realize that she is a major winner of past contests, but I have since come to see that trees form an important part of her creative work. And what a tree this is! It is the branches that evoke Australia to me, as they curve and taper gracefully upward, bearing lightly the almost ethereal foliage which I find much harder to locate in an other-world context. But the branches are very reminiscent of the salmon gums in the Western Australian woodlands, while their colour is reminiscent of a number of white-barked eucalypts. By its scale, to stand beneath this work is to place oneself in submission to nature; and the setting sun playing on the foliage brings it to life in the dimension of colour as well as form.

soror Nishi The Copper Beech

Turning now to an image that would be more associated with Iceland or Scandinavia than Australia, one of the most participatory works displayed this month is Arrow Inglewood’s Ice Ice Baby – it’s cold inside. Facing an agglomeration of indeterminate form from the outside, this unusual work is only truly appreciated once you are inside it, and so the artist has made an explicit invitation to enter. You find yourself inside a gigantic ice cube, in the process of melting so that holes are already appearing in the outer surface, but in the chill depths of the interior a goblet stands, towering above the viewer, apparently some four metres in height. In the glass, whimsically a cocktail stirrer endlessly circulates, agitating the unseen beverage and adding motion to the frozen form of the melting cube. An awareness of cold, of blue light and of the motion of melting ice, penetrates the senses.

Arrow Inglewood Ice Ice Baby – it’s cold inside

The human form is present and active in some of the works displayed, and I have chosen to write about three of these. Kyra Roxan’s Urban Girls could be set in my home town of Perth, but probably is not since the artist is American and was partly educated in Spain. Some shimmering night-time cityscape forms a backdrop to the sensual image of three shapely female friends seen from the rear, embracing and apparently anticipating their planned outing into the urban jungle for a night of entertainment and, probably, seduction. The female form is credibly Latina, and the colouring also, the hair and flimsy minimalist clothing adorning bodies presented in bas relief which are appreciated all the more fully from seeing the work side-on as well as conventionally from the front. The human shapes and adornments clearly owe much to the way Second Life represents these things, but this is to take nothing from the work, which draws the viewer in and makes the female viewer wish she could be a fourth member of the party, and the male viewer no doubt already planning how to discover the nightclub where he may encounter these girls in perhaps an hour’s time, to offer to buy one of them a drink and draw her aside from her friends.

Kyra Roxan’s Urban Girls

(and detail showing bas relief)

Lavitaloca Vita’s The Circle of Life is another intently participatory work. Again, the artist explicitly invites us to enter the piece, and we pass magically through the translucent shell of the world globe, to sit in the very centre of the work, amidst a circle of people of many ages and sizes. One feels that these individuals may be not only male and female, child and adult, but also drawn from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The viewer has a real sense of internationality when seated in the midst of the piece, and the work could readily be adopted by an agency of the United Nations as symbolic of its endeavours. The use of colour and texture to facilitate the play of light within the enclosing shell, and the musical dimension, together with the lotus-postion meditative pose of the viewer (or viewers, as the piece can accommodate several people simultaneously) all combine to create a sense of peace and well-being as well as hope for the future of the human race. The mysterious shimmering spiral in the very centre I have no clear sense about, and welcome enlightenment, but whatever it means to you as the viewer is valid for you. The only thing that comes to my own mind is a representation of DNA as binding humanity together as a continuing species.

Lavitaloca Vita’s The Circle of Life

More difficult for me to penetrate intellectually, though not emotionally or even physically, is the work of another Australian, Ronda Saunders’ From Behind the Mask. Ronda gives us a glimpse into her production techniques in her notes accompanying the work, but its interpretation is left to us. So we attempt to accept the challenge. A human face, a woman in a state of some anger or ferocity, is firstly covered by a mask of itself. Then, continuously emanating from the mask, but ultimately moving in all directions, are smaller replicas of the mask, endlessly circulating in three dimensions from what at first has appeared to be a two dimensional photograph. The woman is not Caucasian – is she Latina? Australian Aboriginal perhaps? The viewer can decide. What is the woman’s emotion? Perhaps she is annoyed at real or perceived racism, perhaps she is shouting to subdue fear… more than any of the others, I am teasing this one out as I write, so forgive me if I am wide of the mark you yourself may establish for interpreting the work yourself. Whatever the interpretation, you are able to enter the woman’s struggle yourself as, coming close to the surface of the work, the emanating masks surround you and you can sense some strong emotion despite your inability to clearly identify it. And what is the significance of the fact that the mask is simply a representation of the woman’s actual face? ‘Behind the mask’ the viewer finds… simply the mask again, but this is the real woman. Shaking my head regretfully, I am defeated by this work and yet sense so much of something undefinable in it that I must write about it and display my ignorance and limitations to the world.

Ronda Saunders From Behind the Mask

Finally, a work which speaks to my own origins beyond the shores of the land of my birth: Theo Republic’s Draco Furore (Italian, ‘Dragon Fury’) draws on dragons which, to me at least, seem to be Asian in inspiration, rearing in conflict against one another, suspended in space as no other-world artwork may be without the aid of any wires or supports. The dragons are massive, formed apparently as if from weathered timber or corroded iron, and interestingly one is larger than the other, the outcome of the conflict perhaps already determined by sheer might and physical dominance. The viewer stands in awe, as one must in the presence of other-worldly creatures… and pauses, realizing that she, too, at this time inhabits another world, one of fantasy and imagination as fully as the world of dragons.

Theo Republic Draco Furore

These are my thoughts. In one sense, they are a work of my own, in another perhaps an extension of the artworks they address. I am given to purple prose and some will criticize me for that, and I do not try to defend myself. If my writing gives you no aid in thinking about these works, you are free to move on and create your own thoughts, your own interpretations… and indeed, you must, because these words are valid for me only. They speak as much about me as they do about the artworks – probably more. So now I will shut up, and simply thank Jayjay for the opportunity to share these thoughts here. (Please don’t attack him too strongly if you think I would be better had I been strangled at birth and not allowed to inflict my ramblings on anyone!) I left publication until after voting had closed so that I would not draw special attention to the works I chose to write about. And in closing I do want to say that I appreciated very much all of the works displayed, but had to choose just a few to write about. Thankyou to all of the artists for making yourselves vulnerable in presenting your works for judgment, and we hope that you will offer us fresh works in the months ahead. I, for one, am excited as I anticipate what I will see on the platform in a month’s time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

People's Choice Vote Closing Soon, Winners Announcements 6am slt SUNDAY 5th Dec


The People's Choice Voting Board for the November Round of the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge is now open, and will remain so till midnight slt, 3rd December

Please note the winners announcements/party for Round 1, The November Round will be:
TIME: 6am SLT Sunday 5th December
LOCATION: UWA 3D Open Art Challenge Platform

DJ Eifachfilm Vacirca will be spinning the tunes after the announcements.

Machinimatographers please note that all 71 works are eligible for filming for MachinimUWA IV: 2nd Art of the Artists (Prize Pool L$200,000)

1 Leonie Szczepanski - Fractal Painting 2
2 Leonie Szczepanski - Fractal Painting 1
3 RAG Randt - The Dream
4 LavitaLoca Vita - The Circle of Life
5 Suzanne Graves - Whirling Blow
6 Aloisio Congrejo - Alone?
7 Wolk Writer - the big question
8 Wolk Writer - luisterheuveltjes gras
9 kyra Roxan - Rebirthing
10 kyra Roxan - Urban Girls
11 quadrapop Lane - QT sea urchin weaving glow box
12 quadrapop Lane - QT Swirly Diamond
13 kalie Fang - Checking for a Pulse
14 Ginger Lorakeet - Stargate
15 Ginger Lorakeet - In Wonderland
16 Oldoak Merlin - BoxedSpringRain_
17 Louly Loon - Fairy 2
18 Louly Loon - Fairy 1
19 Josina Burgess - FLY with the WIND
20 Mason Kas & Thaiis Thei - The Diabolical Machine
21 Anley Piers - The Crows Electro
22 ykrylov Bluestar - Life
23 Jesse Keyes - FLW Glass lamp
24 Jesse Keyes - Windmill
25 Theo Republic - Draco Furore
26 Goose Wycliffe - Spiro Nebula
27 Alizarin Goldflake - The Winter Bear
28 Theoretical Afterthought - All saints have a past
29 Asmita Duranjaya - MotherBoardRetreat
30 Gingered Alsop - The Glowing Serpent
31 Zola Zsun - Tree of Curls and Puffs
32 Arrow Inglewood - Ice Ice Baby It's Cold Inside
33 Really Scrabblebat - THANATOR KILL
34 Miso Susanowa - For Your Viewing Pleasure
35 oona Eiren - Trailer Trash Vol. 1
36 oona Eiren - The Butterfly Ride
37 Grey Kurka - Versailles Fountain Study
38 Gingered Alsop - Loss
39 pravda Core - Gargoyle
40 pravda Core - Mermaid
41 Lea Supermarine and Jarapanda Snook - Barrel Organ
42 Betty Tureaud - lazer balls
43 Thoth Jantzen - Resurgent Complexity
44 Thoth Jantzen - Media Starforms
45 Nebulosus Severine - Cold, desolate, and alone
46 Reezy Frequency - Feathering Nest
47 Nyx Breen - Romance
48 Saveme Oh - Saveme Oh
49 Ann Otoole - Power Prim
50 Eleanora Newell - Native Warrior
51 Ronda Saunders - From Behind The Mask
52 Sledge Roffo - Primscape Sea
54 soror Nishi - Orchis Inworldzii
55 soror Nishi - The Copper Beech
56 Typote Beck - dream of the cold sleeper
57 Typote Beck - The spoking tree
58 Fiona Blaylock - Rain
59 Tani Thor - Omaggio a Aloisio Congrejo
60 Giovanna Cerise - Game in black and white
61 Miss Crumb - Invisible Man
62 Sabrinaa Nightfire - Green Peas and Magic Orange Orb
63 Cherry manga - The Painters Hidden Shelter
65 Corcosman Voom - To Dare And To Endure
66 Eifachfilm Vacirca - Planet d-oo-b
67 Penelope Parx - lifemotion
68 Jimmy Debruyere - Red and Yellow Foothills
69 Luciella Lutrova - MAN WOMAN
70 Ub Yifu - Pharaons Abu Simbel
71 Petra Weksler - Chained Purity